A House for Every Bird

by Megan Maynor (Author) Kaylani Juanita (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

A young artist's drawings rebel against her when she tries to put her sketched birds in houses that match how they look, but not how they feel in this hilarious picture book perfect for readers of Julian is a Mermaid and The Big Orange Splot.

A young artist has drawn birds and bird houses in corresponding colors. Now it's time to match them up. The blue bird goes in the blue house, the orange bird in the orange house, and so on. But wait! The birds don't agree with the narrator's choices and, much to her distress, are rebelling by swapping houses. Can the narrator make the birds see sense? Or is it possible that you just can't tell a bird by its feathers?

Publishers Weekly

A young brown-skinned artist draws an eclectic group of birds in this funny and subtly incisive story, each with a quirky house that matches their color or size: "Red for red,/ tall for tall./ A house/ for one,/ a house/ for all." But the creations immediately balk--and squawk--at being pigeonholed based on their looks. Blue Bird and Orange Bird insist on swapping houses ("Blue is my vibe--so cool, so calm," says Orange Bird); a diminutive bird wants larger digs to accommodate a huge singing group, and Large Bird prefers snug quarters "where I can touch all the walls at once." Seeing their rebellion as nothing short of ingratitude, the child gestures in frustration: "How was I supposed to KNOW what you like?"--"ASK US!" is the reply. Both Maynor's (Helga Makes a Name for Herself) dialogue text and Juanita's (When Aidan Became a Brother) digital art have a loose, improvisational feel that captures the thrill and frustration of a work in progress--and the value of empathy and flexibility in getting to know others. Ages 3-6. Author's agent: Minju Chang, BookStop Literary. Illustrator's agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary. (Feb.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

A fresh and funny take on an old moral.—Kirkus

Both Maynor's dialogue text and Juanita's digital art have a loose, improvisational feel that captures the thrill and frustration of a work in progress—and the value of empathy and flexibility in getting to know others.—Publishers Weekly

Use this to open a discussion on using words rather than assumptions, or as an introduction to the way art can go in unexpected directions.—The Bulletin

Megan Maynor
The sandcastles that Megan Maynor built were mostly on lakeshores, because she is a Minnesota girl herself. These days, she mostly builds stories to share with children. Megan is also the author of Ella and Penguin Stick Together and Ella and Penguin, A Perfect Match. She lives outside Minneapolis with one husband, three kids, and one rabbit. Learn more about Megan and her work at MeganMaynor.com or on Twitter at @Megan_Maynor.

Kate Berube (Bear uh bee) has spent many hours building sandcastles and searching for mermaids on the beaches of Cape Cod and the Oregon coast. Kate is also the illustrator of My Little Half-Moon and The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read and the author and illustrator of Hannah and Sugar, which won the 2017 Literary Arts Oregon Book Award. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and their one-eyed wonder dog, Sugar. Learn more about Kate and her work at KateBerube.com and on Twitter at @BerubeKate.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
February 20, 2021

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